Would you rather talk about art but your drinking buddy wants to talk about sports? A compromise has been found in Brooklyn based illustrator, Adrian Mangel, who creates works with, as he calls it, a “performative element”.
Mangel aims to create art that is approachable to everyone, claiming that most art today is taken too seriously. Primarily using oil pastels, colored pencils and watercolors, his illustrations mix the elementary skills of drawing with an element of sporty-spice.
There is a certain playful honesty in his work that depicts both black and white and colored scenes of tennis, soccer, basketball, surfing. “I try to reference things I actually like. Nothing is done in irony or satire; rather trying to bring the viewer forward and having him/her interact and participate with the piece,” says Mangel.
“Art is intimidating and alien to people who don’t practice it. I want to throw that out the window and bring forward themes and concepts that are more universal in meaning.”
Mangel maintains an active social media presence, showcasing a lot of his latest works on Instagram. Illustration has seemingly become the hottest trend on social media right now, as seen on popular accounts like Belinda Xia Illustration, Carla Fuentes, Damien Florebert, BadlyDrawnModels, and our personal favorite DrawnOnTheWay, the illustrator sketching the faces of New York “one commute at a time.”
Something about an illustration puts the viewer at ease. Maybe it’s the simplicity of the lines on a sheet on paper, maybe it’s the vibrant colors pulling you in…we don’t know, but artists like Mangel are clearly on to something that appeals to the masses.
To see more, follow Adrien on Instagram!
All images courtesy of the artist.